Hmmm... my New Year's post ended up timestamped as if it were an Old Year's post. Apparently somewhere in its guts, this here blog is on PST rather than EST. I'll fix it as soon as I can figure out how¹, but in the meantime, please believe that the last post was published minutes after the ball dropped, and not hours before.
Now to complete the dashed-off drink recipe that I posted there, I've decided I will call it the Ashford Tonic. Here's the backstory: Dale DeGroff would no doubt pillory me for specifying a prepared limeade rather than fresh lime juice, but I've loved Newman's Own limeade (and lemonade) ever since a loved one was a camper at the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp for children dealing with cancer and other life-threatening diseases. This no-fee summer camp — founded by Paul Newman and the prototype for a growing family of similar facilities — is located in Ashford, CT.
Paul Newman provided much of the seed money (not to mention a vast amount of his personal energy) for the camp, and it is one of the many, many charitable causes that share 100 percent of the profits from Newman's Own products. But aside from its charitable value, Newman's Own Virgin Limeade is a great tasting drink in its own right. I'd been looking for a way to incorporate it into a drink for some time, and the lovely fresh sweet cherries my wife brought home for our New Year's celebration presented the perfect opportunity. To refresh your memory...
In a mixing glass, place
5-6 fresh sweet cherries, pitted and sliced
2 oz. Newman's Own Virgin Limeade
Muddle cherries in limeade and set aside to macerate for ~30 minutes. Add...
2 oz. ice cold Hendricks gin
Shake vigorously and strain into highball glass over ice. Top with...
2-3 whole cherries for garnish.
¹ Fixed it... and apparently the fix is retroactive, so... <EmilyLitella>never mind!</EmilyLitella>
² I like locally made Hosmer Mountain sodas, and their Diet Tonic is my choice for this drink.